Multinational banking company HSBC has appointed Lowe & Partners Worldwide to handle its 150m global advertising account.
The driving force behind the move is the global rebranding and advertising of all HSBC banks. In the UK, HSBC-owned Midland Bank began this process last November. But the Anglo-Chinese parent company has 18 other brand names in 79 countries around the world.
Lowe won the account against BBDO, Bates Dorland, and Ogilvy & Mather.
A spokesman for HSBC says the team in charge of choosing the agency, headed by corporate affairs director Michael Broadbent and Midland board advisor Mary Jo Jacobi, have recommended an agency which will go to the HSBC board to be approved.
One of the creative ideas the agency is understood to have put forward revolved around the bank’s red and white symbol. The treatment urges customers “to live, eat and breathe the hexagon”.
It is unclear whether Lowe will replace the local agencies it works with and handle all the bank’s advertising, or whether it will sit above them, solely producing rebranding work.
In the UK, HSBC agency St Luke’s began producing rebranding work last year, and is understood to be working for the bank until at least the end of the year.
The HSBC spokesman adds: “Midland, in the process of changing its name to HSBC, will continue its relationship with St Luke’s. The new agency might get involved in local ads but it has an umbrella role.”
HSBC has spent 30m so far on rebranding, but it has global assets of 300bn.